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Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:32 pm
by duane
For more discussion about this thread topic there is another forum running a similar debate. See ... 93&start=0

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:34 pm
by duane
Here's another bloke wanting to declare Eucalypts as Weeds of National Significance (WONS). Maybe, I have started something??

Click on

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:43 pm
by duane
If ever there was a better case to declare the (phyto)toxicity of Eucalyptus as weeds of national significance WONS then it was displayed on last weeks and tonights Australian Story....see "Something in the Water" Parts 1 and 2.

Peter has been severely critical of Governments all around the country of planting monocultures of gum trees in ALL of our catchments esp in Tasmania and Victoria and NSW.

Planted as monocultures these trees produce massive amounts of polyphenols.....phytotoxins. There is well documented evidence both from Aboriginal sources and the scientific literature to support the phytotoxicity of gumtrees.

Prof Haikai Tane** described this when speaking of Red river gums...." Research on riparian biota indicates there are proably greater grounds for concern about the phytotoxicity of Australian red gums!"

Because the river systems have had all of the filtering wetlands removed and the plants that these wetland systems contained, which would have filtered and processed these toxins, the toxins are now being carried all the way to the estuaries and killing the sea life there.



Eucalypts have been PLANTED in nearly all of our catchments AND the truth is they are POISONING everything including the people drinking the water.

Col, you can verify this fact, that eucalypts have been planted in many of your Victorian catchments, I'm sure. THIS issue is a real sleeping gun!!!

But it is a problem that can be fixed by gaining an understanding of how the Australian landscape functioned.

In his book BFTB Peter describes the process where gum trees are now 90% 0f the dominant spp., (see pp148-151). He describes their toxicity and as monocultures they are bad news.

But as a biodiverse mix with other species esp deciduous trees they are fine.

We need to fully understand that landscapes operate from forestry to aquaculture...from the highest point to the lowest point. That many plants produce toxins but the Australian landscape had a method for dealing with these toxins but running water and floating debris thru a series of wetlands where these toxic compounds and products could be broken down, reused and recycled.

That was the natural sequence. Today it is all but lost.

Governments and bureaucrats will deny and obfuscate....anything that requires them to DO something turns a switch which says 'leave well enough alone'.

Well it simply isn't good enough. If it was lead or arsenic coming from a mine there would be national uproar.


Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:17 am
by duane

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:21 pm
by duane
Water probe bias fear

by SUE NEALES taken from ... -news.html

February 25, 2010 06:50am

CRITICISM is mounting that the official inquiry to investigate claims of toxins in East Coast drinking water supplies is not sufficiently independent or rigorous.

. There is also concern the probe, established on the recommendation of Tasmania's public health director Roscoe Taylor on Tuesday, will not inquire into the broader linked problem of contaminated water in dozens of river catchments around the state where tree plantations proliferate.

Marine ecologist Marcus Scammell, who helped blow the whistle with new data suggesting toxins from tree plantations in drinking water could be harming St Helens residents, said yesterday he did not trust the Government.

"Do I trust your Government and its servants with my data [and Dr Alison Bleaney's]," Dr Scammell wrote on a blog on the Tasmanian Times website.

"No I do not! Since 2005 we have told the Tasmanian Government the water was a problem backed by toxicity testing from an accredited laboratory [but they did not respond]. That is what I'm worried about [again]; that our data, which we've gone to great trouble to collect, will not be viewed as impartial or even useful."

Dr Scammell and St Helens GP Alison Bleaney are both disappointed that the scientific investigation of the seven independent studies of water contamination and toxins they have helped collect from the George River have been entrusted to an inquiry overseen by Tasmania's Environmental Protection Authority,

They argue that the EPA, an arm of the Environment Department, has failed previously to investigate further its own studies showing poisonous toxins to be present in St Helens drinking water supplies in 2005.

With that background, Dr Bleaney and Dr Scammell query why EPA chairman John Ramsay has now been entrusted with overseeing the review and study of their critical toxins data by eminent Australian and overseas scientists to verify its findings.

Dr Bleaney believes the health of St Helens residents is being adversely affected by dangerously high levels of toxins found in the leaves of plantation eucalypt trees in the town's drinking water.

But she says she is no scaremonger, with her journey as a whistleblower beginning with her puzzlement at the unusually high levels of cancers and neurological diseases she began to see among her St Helens patients.

The Government insists there are no statistically unusual incidents or clusters of disease in St Helens and that the water is safe to drink.

Reader comment:
Ongoing concerns about the adverse quality of our water supply due to toxic chemical usage have been deliberately ignored due to the systemic failure within all tiers of government to regulate the forest industry in our State. The investigation must therefore be open and transparent and carried out independent of this government which has consistently failed to recognise its duty to care for the community. An immediate moratorium must also be imposed upon the further planting of e. nitens monoculture plantations due to claims that the toxicity has been attributed to genetically improved and/or modified e.nitens which potentially breach Tasmania's GMO free status. These claims must also be included within the remit for the investigation.


This enquiry will be a total whitewash full of lies, secrecy and obfuscation....mark my words. What Govt in its right mind would declare Gumtrees as a National Toxic hazard. Why all those bureaucrats would have a terminal case of apoplexy......declaring "but their NATIVE!!! this can't be true! What about our sick and dying populations of koalas....they will starve to death if we remove all the gumtrees".

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:44 pm
by duane
Blackwater killing fish along Murray

Article taken from ... 134852.htm

Related Story: Coalition sets up Water Act inquiry Related Story: Water Commissioner a 'failed PR exercise' Related Story: United Water loses Adelaide water deal A natural phenomenon that is killing fish in the Murray now stretches from the South Australian/Victorian border to Murray Bridge, south-east of Adelaide.

Blackwater occurs when organic material such as(Eucalyptus) leaves and bark is washed into the river by flood.

The high organic content removes oxygen from the water and leads to deaths of some fish and other river life. The Eucalyptus residue contains many highly toxic compounds including polyphenols and tannins which KILL fish and aquatic life. The suggestion that this is a natural event is true BUT they fail to identify the causitive agent for fear of offending the Nativists

Andrew Beale from the Water Department said it was a legacy of prolonged drought in recent years.The problem is caused by the overpopulation in much of our landscape of a monoculture of Eucalyptus trees, with little in the way of bio-diversity and few wetland plants to process the toxic residues.

"It's very large, it's about 1,400 kilometres long we estimate now, so it's something that's going to be with us for some time," he said. When the MD was intact it had wetlands stepped all the way down the system. The wetland plants would process all of the floating residue from a flood event and release to the step below all of that breakdown product as a kind of liquid fertilizer for both plants and animals. We have removed both the wetland stepping. process system, which may have occured every 50-100 kms and we now have these highly TOXIC residues along the whole length of the MD system for 1400KM posioning every living aqautic animal. Sure it's natural, but.....

"This is a big one, but it's a perfectly natural phenomenon and we've dealt with these blackwater events in the past. Yes, it's perfectly natural and it's a big one, but the fact of the matter is it could be a much smaller one, because many of the plants that can process these toxic residues have been removed from the system inc willows. It's further example of Bureaucrats managing Failire by not understanding these landscape processes."We've been in close contact with the Murray-Darling (Basin) Authority and the upstream jurisdictions as the events developed and travelled towards South Australia."

The original story is in BLACK

My comments are in RED

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:49 pm
by maggie's farm
On the subject of native weeds - shouldn't Camphor Laurels be regarded as somewhat of a native now? As someone striving to stop the Bellingen Council from destroying five heritage 100 year old beautiful shade trees in the centre of town, I notice that all the negative attributes of Eucalypts are being touted as the reason that they just have to cut, poison and destroy as many Camphors as possible.

It seems that if we remove all the Camphors from the river banks, where they are apparently poisoning the water, we're going to have an enormous erosion problem. Likewise, the main shade trees for miles on the mid and upper North Coast are Camphors.

Can anyone give me some sane advice on Camphors? Are they as poisonous and deadly as Bellingen Council claims?

May I quote your Blackwater article, Duane, along with your comments in red, to the rabid nativists in Bellingen?

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:43 pm
by duane
By all means.

I will come back to you on the CL's.

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:48 am
by maggie's farm
Thankyou. It seems that CL's are ubiquitously vilified in Oz. They really must have some redeeming features that I can argue for - beauty and shade clearly don't count.

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:06 am
by Angela Helleren
Hi Maggie's farm!

What reason has been given for their removal ? I don't know if you will find any supporting arguments within these articles but interesting reading at including this section

Cinnamomum camphora was introduced to Australia in 1822 as an ornamental tree for use in gardens and public parks, where it is commonly called Camphor laurel. It has become a weed throughout Queensland and central to northern New South Wales where it is suited to the wet, subtropical climate. However, the tree provides hollows quickly in younger trees, whereas natives can take hundreds of years to develop hollows. Are there any nice hollows for critters?

It has been declared a noxious weed in many parts of Queensland and New South Wales.[3] Its massive and spreading root systems disrupt urban drainage and sewerage systems and degrade river banks. Its leaves have a very high carbon content, which damages water quality and freshwater fish habitats when they fall into streams and rivers. The camphor content of the leaf litter helps prevent other plants from germinating successfully, helping to ensure the camphor's success against any potentially competing vegetation, and the seeds are attractive to birds and pass intact through the digestive system, ensuring rapid distribution. Camphor laurel invades rainforests and pastures, and also competes against eucalyptus trees which are the sole food source of koalas, which are endangered in many parts of eastern Australia.

You may find something here also - ... hor-laurel

Do they happen to be heritage listed?

http://www.wilsonscreeklandcare.mullum. ... aurel.html

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:17 am
by maggie's farm
Hi Angela,

Many thanks for your reply. Yes, the reasons given for their removal are the same as those you've just given - noxious weed, seeds spread by birds, poisoning rivers etc. However, the five trees in question are heritage listed - just that the council has decided to de-list them so they can plant some upstanding natives and reconstruct the beautiful Church Street cafe area into an ultra modern Bondi Pavilion type mall. Apparently, they found a dead bird underneath a Camphor, which to them was proof that they are toxic, but it was later discovered that the bird had died from poisoning with weed killer of some sort.

I'm wondering if Camphors are in fact more poisonous than some Eucalypts. I also question the tons and tons of poison used annually to rid the area of "weeds" - it hasn't seemed to cross anyone's mind that this poison could be killing frogs, insects etc, which in turn kill the birds which feed on them. I understand that even when Camphors are ring barked and physically removed, they still drill a hole into the trunk and insert poison just to make sure.

There are definitely nice hollows for critters within these old giants. Also huge branches smoothed out by generations of climbing children. They are a work of art - it's such a heart-ache to see them destroyed. Likewise all the exquisite willows all the way down the riverbank. Sigh.

Re: WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:46 pm
by duane

Joe Friend (Google) believes them i.e., CL's to be highly toxic....

I know they are highly allelopathic but as yet they have not taken over the planet.

I haven't been as active on this Forum for a while but recently I Googled "WONS: New native weed- Eucalyptus"....

This topic has gone VIRAL !!

Suggest you check it out and read some of the many divergent views.

I for one found it fascinating.